Greater Sydney will now be in lockdown until July 31st as a result of the recent outbreak of the Delta Strain. While the implications of the lockdown are yet to be seen, we wish to advise that it is likely that processing for Skilled (Nominated) (subclass 190) and Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491) visa applications to New South Wales will be delayed.
Immigration Medical Examinations
Immigration Medical Examinations have been temporarily ceased in New South Wales due to the Delta strain outbreak in Greater Sydney. Sydney clinics will be closed from June 26th to July 30th.
Further information can be found on the NSW Department of Health’s website.
Changes to Administrative Appeals Tribunal Operation
Due to the current outbreak in Greater Sydney, the AAT has closed their Sydney registry to visitors until further notice.
Please be advised that any Tribunal hearings during this period will be held remotely, either via telephone or video conferencing. The Tribunal may contact Applicants in limited circumstances where an in-person hearing may be required.
Changes to South Australia’s Skilled Migration Program
Skilled migrants wanting to migrate to South Australia can now apply for state nomination from 20 July 2021.
The skilled migration program will focus on:
- Talent and Innovators Program;
- Migrants already working in South Australia;
- International Graduates of South Australia; and
- Offshore skilled migrants offering critical skills, such as trade and health occupations.
Changes for Skilled Independent (New Zealand Stream) (subclass 189) visa
The Department has announced changes to the income requirement for New Zealand stream applicants to come into effect from July 1st. Applicants will now only need to prove the specified income for three years out of the five prior to the date of application. One of these years must be the income year immediately prior to the date of application.
From May 31st 2021, applicants may also seek an income exemption for the 2019-20 financial year if their income was affected by the pandemic. Allowances may also be made where an applicant has not spent sufficient time in Australia as a result of travel restrictions.
Travel Exemption Holders eligible for vaccination
Australians under 50 years of age may be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations if they hold a travel exemption to leave Australia in an eligible category. The travel exemption must have been granted on or after 20 May 2021. If a travel exemption was granted prior to this date, a new exemption request may be submitted if the person has not left Australia. Please be advised that exemptions granted for ‘compelling reasons for at least 3 months’ are excluded from this provision.
Temporary visa holders under 50 years of age who are currently in Australia and have been granted a travel exemption to enter Australia on or after 8 June 2021 are also eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Quarantine-free travel to New Zealand
Quarantine-free travel between New South Wales and New Zealand has been paused as a result of the current outbreak in Greater Sydney. Managed return flights for New Zealand citizens coming from New South Wales have begun since July 13th.
Travel between Queensland and New Zealand has resumed since July 13th.